Do you want to be a “dot-radio” pioneer?
The European Broadcasting Union has updated its plans for the launch of the top-level “.radio” domain to the global radio community; and it is seeking a limited number of entities to act as ambassadors for the effort.
The global launch consists of three phases: a pioneer program, for which the EBU is accepting applications; the primary launch later this year; and a general availability segment using a “first come first served” approach.
The first batch of some 80 .radio pioneers will work with the EBU and the wider radio community; they will be selected for what the EBU describes as “variety, promotion efforts and visibility,” and already include addresses such as lesindes.radio for a French group of private radio stations and theaibs.radio, The Association for International Broadcasting.
The EBU said it seeks pioneers to develop awareness of .radio. “What we want is buzz, visibility, credibility with diversity among people, radio activities and territories,” said Alain Artero, EBU’s .radio domain manager.
“Of course, we also expect that these .radio pioneers will actively utilize the new domain for their internet services, such as websites, web radios,” he said. “Our main goal is to make .radio visible and alive now — we are particularly interested in those who will immediately switch from their existing domain to a .radio domain and use it actively.”
The EBU .radio timeline and order of priority.
Artero said the EBU expects potential pioneers to promote their domains through marketing efforts such as newsletters, use of the .radio logo and on-air communication. The EBU will provide a .radio domain to the pioneers, publish the list on its website and include participants in its .radio communication plan.
“We are offering these forerunners significant exclusivity for six months, with only 80 such domains available worldwide,” said Artero. “For those selected, this will give them high visibility and distinguish them as leaders in this new digital radio world.”
The pioneer program is open to anyone in the radio community. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EBU originally intended to open the main launch phase in May and reserve it for radio stations. It is now scheduled to take place Aug. 23 to Oct. 31 (pending validation by ICANN); and it will be open to all radio industry categories, though with a priority system.
“It is not legally possible to provide an earlier application period that prioritizes radio stations over trademarks, because the deviation from the normal ICANN process is seen as too considerable; we have thus updated the .radio timeline and priority,” Artero said. “This makes the pioneer program much more attractive due to the delayed launch of the other categories.”
The order of priority within the launch is as follows: Trademarks in ICANN (meaning officially registered trademarks stored in the ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse database); broadcaster unions; broadcast radio stations; internet radio stations; radio amateurs; radio professionals like DJs and newspeople; and radio-related companies including those selling goods and services.
Within the main launch, the EBU also will run a “landrush” period, in which it says rules to register a domain will be slightly more flexible. Artero said all domains created in this context need to be related to radio but can, for example, comprise radio programs or other ancillary services even if they are not directly linked to a radio company name.
Finally, beginning mid-November, the EBU will start accepting requests in the general availability category. Applications for this phase will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Domain prices are expected to run between €200 and €250 per domain each year for companies (roughly $215 to $270), with prices much lower for individuals — about a tenth of that per domain per year. To benefit from the lower price, the domain designation for individuals must derive from their name (for instance, alain-artero.radio and arteroa.radio). In the case of radio amateurs, it should be made up of their call sign (e.g. JY5IG.radio).
ICANN, which manages internet domain names and IP addresses, granted the .radio top level domain last year with EBU as the principal organizer. As a result of the program, the world will soon see URLs like www.nrj.radio, salsa1.radio, podcast.capital.radio and WA8UNS.radio, as well as email addresses like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The EBU is working with a group of broadcasting unions from around the world, including the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Association Européenne des Radios, Arab States Broadcasting Union and Organización de Telecomunicaciones de Iberoamérica. The North American Broadcasters Association is also a partner.
Organizers hope that their community approach will keep away cybersquatters, with applications for .radio names being checked and reserved for use by legitimate members of the radio community.
An advisory board held its first meeting in Paris in January and elected as its chair Simon Spanswick, chief executive of the Association for International Broadcasting.
From Alain Artero at EBU:
You may like to consider securing the integrity of your web presence by requesting appropriate .radio domains for defensive reasons initially. The TLD will be focused on content and matters specific to radio; this extension will become quickly a high-value internet space for your website, your mail system and other internet applications.
To request a .radio domain, you should contact a registrar (company selling internet domains), providing it has signed an agreement to sell .radio domains, or the EBU, which will act as a reseller.
Because during the launch phase, the process is not “first come, first served,” it is highly recommended to register your domain during the launch from Aug. 23. The .radio team will seek to optimize domain name allocation to solve contentious issues.
Submitting an application during the launch period offers the best chance to obtain a given .radio domain. The exact time of application/registration request is not decisive as long as it occurs during the launch period.
With a potential 65,000 radio stations and 60,000 web stations in the sector able to apply, Artero is confident all applications will be considered carefully. “We have carefully prepared the launch for many months, and it is our duty for the .radio community to make it successful,” he said.
“We will review all applications in a daily basis, as they are being submitted during the launch period. This means that our team will be analyzing all applications from the moment they enter into the system, so we ensure there is no missing detail or formal defect that prevents them from being approved, as well as that there is no invalid application taking advantage of a name over which that applicant has no connection with. This will be done by the .radio staff alongside the staff from CORE, our back-end technical provider, that has managed several TLD launches in the past years.”
The website www.nic.radio has more information; the EBU effort also is active on Twitter (@getdotradio), LinkedIn and Facebook. Those wishing to apply will be able to do so at http://register.radio once the launch commences.
Will Jackson contributed to this story.